misplaced pencils / short pencils

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Forum topic by indefatigable posted 12-30-2011 12:35 PM 2711 views 0 times favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View indefatigable's profile


10 posts in 3486 days

12-30-2011 12:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pencil organizing

Hello everyone!

Perhaps this is a newbie question but how do you keep your pencils from misplacing them on a jobsite or in the shop?
I use to carry them in my side pocket of my pants but after a while (especially when they’re too short) they’re hard to reach/stuck all the time.

Then I started tucking them behind my ear – like a pro! :)
However, when I’m using the heavy machines, I prefer to protect my hearing, so a pencil behind my ear doesn’t work with my earmuffs.

I’m wondering how you guys keep your pencil/marking tool at hand.

Let me know, I’m eager to learn.

Kind regards and best wishes from Belgium!

46 replies so far

View americancanuck's profile


461 posts in 3586 days

#1 posted 12-30-2011 12:44 PM

bib overalls with a pencil pocket in the front. also boxes of pencils all over the shop. when i make test fits for box joints from scrap when i get the fit right i then make 2 more sides and it becomes a pencil box. i have them everywhere

-- Retired and lovin it

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4085 days

#2 posted 12-30-2011 12:49 PM

I usually like to keep mine on the floor, preferably safely tucked in a hidden cubby behind one of my machines…


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 4075 days

#3 posted 12-30-2011 01:30 PM

Shop apron with chest pocket made for holding pencils and a 6” Starrett/lufkin type scale/ruler. Apron also has generic pockets for rulers, smokes etc.
Got mine at Woodcraft. Its a Blakader brand. Great apron.

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3609 days

#4 posted 12-30-2011 01:33 PM

Step 1- Go to target and buy a 50 pack of mechanical pencils (~$5.00)
Step 2- Place a few pencils on every horizintal surface in your shop.
Step 3- Rinse, repeat when you start having trouble finding a pencil.

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 5104 days

#5 posted 12-30-2011 02:03 PM

I use mechanical pencils with a pocket clip.
I still wear my safari clothes, especially vests, from my days in Africa. So, I have a lot of pockets. :)

Bro. Tenzin, OFI

-- 温故知新

View Nighthawk's profile


557 posts in 3333 days

#6 posted 12-30-2011 02:05 PM

I have about 50 pecils laying about… I can still never find them when I want them… even when they are in my pocket

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4409 days

#7 posted 12-30-2011 02:15 PM

Pencils are wherever you don’t need them and never where you need them… Murphy’s Law, I think.
Seriously, I put one wherever I think I might need them… many mechanical pencils… usually, they are not there when I do need them. You need LOTS of pencils.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4150 days

#8 posted 12-30-2011 02:29 PM

There is now one stubby pencil in my ShopVac.

I’m calling it a loss.

-- -- Neil

View hairy's profile


3197 posts in 4509 days

#9 posted 12-30-2011 02:44 PM

Do you have a lathe? Here’s what I do.

I leave these scattered around the house and shop.

-- You can lead a horse to water, but you can't tie his shoes. Blaze Foley

View PeteMoss's profile


214 posts in 4447 days

#10 posted 12-30-2011 02:59 PM

I have attached empty Pedisure bottles all over the place and fill them with my favorite pencil (Lee Valley B lead). I also have one of those magnet do dads that let you stick one to your shirt using an attached metal clip. I have gotten to where I remember to reattach it maybe fifty percent of the time now.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3346 days

#11 posted 12-30-2011 03:15 PM

+1 with JimC; shop apron. Helps me keep everything handy (pencils, eraser, sharpie, 4” double square, measuring tape, 6” steel ruler, marking gauge, marking knife, and remote for my dust collector) It also helps protect your clothes.

-- John

View Bagtown's profile


1743 posts in 4707 days

#12 posted 12-30-2011 03:17 PM

Neil – c’mon, waste not want not. You can still save that pencil in your shopvac.

I like most of us here have waaayyy more than one pencil lying around the shop.
I have an pencil box that also holds pilot drills, screwdriver tips, a couple of steel rules, etc. When I see a pencil lying on the bench or the tablesaw or anywhere else in the shop I’ve almost trained myself to return it to it’s home.

On a jobsite, I use carpenter pencils and keep two in the pencil pocket on my toolbelt and I’ve almost trained myself to return those everytime I use them.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3843 days

#13 posted 12-30-2011 03:18 PM

Like Canuck, I wear bib overalls just about every day of the year. They’re quite comfortable – especially if you don’t button the buttons on the side of the waist. That’s the way I do it. I do most of the maintenance on the equipment in our molding plant and I can put a ton of tools in all of my pockets – especially when I’m doing electrical work. I can put my hammer in the loop on my leg and my linesman’s pliers in the little scabard pocket on the other leg. Just like my suspenders do the shoulder straps distribute all of the weight properly. I’ve always got 2 no. two pencils in my bib pockets and can sharpen them with my knife when they get dull. I don’t know who invented overalls but they sure did know what the hell they were doing. I guess it was Levi Strauss or Sears Roebucks that invented them. I’ve been wearing overalls for about 35 years now. I don’t know why more working men don’t wear them.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 4075 days

#14 posted 12-30-2011 03:28 PM

Working men AND non-working men.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4150 days

#15 posted 12-30-2011 03:29 PM

Bagtown: Oh, alright.

But if you don’t see me posting in the next day or so … you’ll know where to look for me :-)

Overalls ? The last thing that stands between me and a big old beer gut IS pants and a belt. Let THAT go, and … oh … I shudder to think ;-)

-- -- Neil

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